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Belief and Religion in Terry Pratchett’s The Hogfather
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Being widely known as comedy fantasy, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series has been highly regarded by fans and critics alike. While known for their comic tone, Pratchett’s novels have also dealt with grave topics, such as the power of belief and the notion that gods are created, destroyed and made relevant through belief and worship. Yet, there is a distinct gap in academic literature investigating Pratchett’s ideas concerning the nature of both belief and religion. Although Amanda Cockrell has touched upon similar subjects, this paper will address the nature of belief and religion in the Discworld further, by focusing on the novel The Hogfather. I argue that The Hogfather suggests humans are capable of giving meaning to the world around them through the power of belief, and that religion is created by humans to make the world around them more meaningful. In Pratchett’s Discworld, humans have created gods to make sense of what they cannot understand and in this way, they try to bring meaning to the world around them. Furthermore, I argue that The Hogfather presents a case for the importance of religious belief in a modern, secularised world. By presenting “Hogswatch”—the Discworld equivalent of Christmas—as a satire of belief and tradition, Pratchett suggests that, in the end, both secular and religious worldviews should co-exist.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 21
Keywords [en]
Terry Pratchett, The Hogfather, belief, religion, fantasy, Discworld, Hogswatch, Christmas
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-152934OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-152934DiVA, id: diva2:1182221
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Available from: 2018-09-18 Created: 2018-02-12 Last updated: 2019-04-03Bibliographically approved

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